Hidden Travels of the Atomic Bomb

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

In 1945, after the atomic destruction of two Japanese cities, J. Robert Oppenheimer expressed foreboding about the spread of nuclear arms.

“They are not too hard to make,” he told his colleagues on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, N.M. “They will be universal if people wish to make them universal.”

That sensibility, born where the atomic bomb itself was born, grew into a theory of technological inevitability. Because the laws of physics are universal, the theory went, it was just a matter of time before other bright minds and determined states joined the club. A corollary was that trying to stop proliferation was quite difficult if not futile.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/09/science/09bomb.html?ref=science

Researchers Discover Atomic Bomb Effect Results in Adult-onset Thyroid Cancer

Researchers Discover Atomic Bomb Effect Results in Adult-onset Thyroid Cancer

Description

Radiation from the atomic bomb blasts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945, likely rearranged chromosomes in some survivors who later developed papillary thyroid cancer as adults, according to Japanese researchers.

Newswise — Radiation from the atomic bomb blasts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945, likely rearranged chromosomes in some survivors who later developed papillary thyroid cancer as adults, according to Japanese researchers.

In the September 1, 2008, issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, the scientists report that subjects who lived close to the blast sites, were comparably young at the time, and developed the cancer quickly once they reached adulthood, were likely to have a chromosomal rearrangement known as RET/PTC that is not very frequent in adults who develop the disease.

“Recent in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that a single genetic event in the MAP kinase-signaling pathway may be sufficient for thyroid cell transformation and tumor development,” said the study’s lead author, Kiyohiro Hamatani, Ph.D., laboratory chief, Department of Radiobiology and Molecular Epidemiology at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) in Hiroshima.

“Thyroid cancer is associated with exposure to external or internal ionizing radiation.Elucidation of mechanisms of radiation-induced cancer in humans, especially early steps and pathways, has potential implications for epidemiological risk analyses, early clinical diagnosis, and chemopreventive interventions,” Hamatani said.

He adds that there are several irradiated populations worldwide that have been shown to have an increase in thyroid cancer, and that children exposed to radioactive fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident who develop papillary thyroid cancer have also been found to have RET/PTC rearrangements, although they are slightly different.

This study is part of the foundation’s long running follow-up research on 120,000 atomic bomb survivors. During 1958 to 1998, the study found about 470 thyroid cancer cases of which the estimated number of excess cases attributable to radiation is 63. About 90 percent of thyroid cancer among the survivors is of the papillary type.

Hamatani and colleagues from across Japan made a comparison between adult-onset papillary thyroid cancers with RET/PTC rearrangements and those with a BRAF mutation. More than 70 percent of adult onset papillary thyroid cancer in non-exposed patients is associated with mutations in the BRAF gene.

The researchers looked at the genetic profile of cancer patients in the RERF’s follow-up study–50 patients who were exposed to atomic bomb radiation and 21 patients who were not. Three factors were found to be independently associated with the development of adult-onset papillary thyroid cancer with RET/PTC rearrangements. They were greater radiation dose, shorter time elapsed since radiation exposure, and younger age at the time of the bombings, Hamatani says.

“That means that a younger person living close to the bombing site would be more likely to have adult onset thyroid cancer having RET/PTC rearrangements,” he said. “This is the first time this has been shown.”

The findings also suggest that in childhood papillary thyroid cancer RET/PTC rearrangements may be much less clearly associated with radiation exposure, compared with adult-onset cancer, because RET/PTC rearrangements are frequent in childhood papillary thyroid cancer patients regardless of history of radiation exposure.

The researchers do not know exactly how radiation is involved in the occurrence of RET/PTC rearrangements. “It could be either by direct DNA damage or by other pathways such as a result of radiation-induced genomic instability,” Hamatani said.

The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, AACR is the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes more than 28,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and 80 other countries. AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. AACR publishes five major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Its most recent publication and its sixth major journal, Cancer Prevention Research, is dedicated exclusively to cancer prevention, from preclinical research to clinical trials. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists. CR provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship and advocacy.


2008 Newswise

Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivor Calls for Complete Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivor Calls for Complete Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
by Sharat G. Lin
Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM

Antinuclear protesters gathered at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on the 63rd anniversary of the U.S. dropping the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. They were joined by Reverend Nobuaki Hanaoka, who survived that devastating attack and called for the “complete elimination of nuclear weapons from the face of the earth.”

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At 11:02 a.m. on Saturday, August 9, 2008, antinuclear protesters observed a moment of silence for the tens of thousands of civilians who were instantly killed when the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki, Japan 63 years ago. The total number of deaths from the blast are believed to have reached 70,000-80,000 by the end of 1945.

Peace, social justice, and environmental activists from throughout Northern California gathered at the northwest corner of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to protest the continuing research by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons. They called for “a nuclear-free future.”

A sprawling “nuclear maze” displayed an exhibition on the nuclear blast damage to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the U.S. nuclear weapons program, uranium mining, problems of nuclear waste disposal, and the adverse biological effects of fissile nuclear materials. The exhibit drew attention to the more than one thousand nuclear bomb tests that the United States has conducted since the beginning of the Manhattan Project. The maze was set up at the corner of Patterson Pass and Vasco Roads, the usual assembly point for the annual antinuclear protests.

Cara Bautista of Peace Action West (http://www.peaceactionwest.org), one of the 17 cosponsoring organizations, opened the program. She introduced Kaylah Marin, a Hip Hop and neo-soul vocalist, renaissance artist, guitarist, and writer who sang and performed spoken word for the crowd.

The keynote speaker was Reverend Nobuaki Hanaoka, who was less than 8 months old when the U.S. atomic bomb exploded in Nagasaki. He told of how he and his family were spared from the blast and firestorm, but that his mother succumbed to radiation sickness within six years, followed by his sister, and then his brother. In 1978, he helped organize the Friends of Hibakusha (survivors of the bombings), serving as its first chairperson, to support atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the United States, and to advocate for a nuclear-free world.

In reviewing the circumstances of the U.S. first-use of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Reverend Hanaoka pointed out that Emperor Hirohito had already been considering the conditions of surrender well before the first A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. This fact had already been communicated to President Truman by the Soviets. Thus, dropping the bomb on Hiroshima, Hanaoka argued, was militarily unnecessary. The real purpose of dropping the uranium-235 bomb was to send a clear signal to the Soviet Union that the United States was the global superpower emerging from the ashes of World War II.

One of several purposes of the plutonium-239 bomb dropped on Nagasaki was to prove the effectiveness of both types of fission warheads on human populations. The timing of the bombing was advanced in response to the Soviet invasion of Japanese-occupied Manchuria just eleven hours earlier. The United States remains the only country in history to ever use nuclear weapons in combat, and the only country to use them in first strikes.

Reverend Hanaoka called for the “complete elimination of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth.” Referring to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that divides the world between the five original nuclear powers (permanent U.N. Security Council members) and all other countries, he said, “NPT for other countries is not going to work.” He added that the U.S. claimed to be enforcing the NPT by attacking Iraq, but the subsequent U.S. threats to Iran’s security only encouraged Iran to “proliferate.”

Despite the NPT, the U.S. continues to develop and refine its own nuclear arsenal of over 10,000 warheads at centers like the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico. LLNL is one of two U.S. government facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area that handle advanced nuclear weapons, the other being the Navy facility operated with the assistance of Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale for assembling submarine-launched Trident nuclear warheads.

Reverend Hanaoka called for an end to all such work that only increases the rationale for first use and the risk of nuclear terrorism. He concluded by saying that we must “never allow another Hiroshima and Nagasaki anywhere in the world.”

Marylia Kelley of Tri-Valley CAREs (http://www.trivalleycares.org), which has been organizing annual non-violent resistance actions for decades against nuclear weapons work at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, explained, “We are here on August 9th because Livermore Lab has been chosen to develop the United States’ next new nuclear bomb, the so-called Reliable Replacement Warhead. We are here because Livermore Lab is home to more than a thousand pounds of plutonium, which makes us all vulnerable to a catastrophic release. And we are here to show the government and the public that there is another future possible, one based on global nuclear disarmament. We say ‘never again’ to the use of nuclear weapons.”

A lone counter-protester sat in his army jeep with signs reading, “63 years ago B-29s saved 1 million GIs and 5 million Japs.” Perhaps oblivious to the derogatory implication of his ethnic slur, he seemed equally unaware of Japan’s active feelers through the Soviet Union to find a way to surrender while seeking only to preserve to honor of the monarchy before the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

Each year on the anniversary of the A-bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Tri-Valley CAREs and supporting peace and justice groups have organized original and uniquely creative actions at the gates of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Some actions have involved non-violent civil disobedience.

For example, on August 6, 2007, antinuclear resisters staged a die-in across the pavement blocking the West Gate to LLNL. Fellow protesters drew chalk outlines around the “fallen bodies” to leave a chilling symbol of the human toll of nuclear weapons developed at LLNL. A score of antinuclear resisters, including priests and nuns, then faced off with the LLNL Protective Service police before being arrested by Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies.

On August 6, 2006, non-violent civil disobedience was considered, but then abandoned in favor of leaving flowers of peace on the chain-link West Gate. That protest featured an immense 25-meter long balloon in the shape of a ballistic missile.

Among the many cosponsoring organizations is the Livermore Conversion Project, which advocates converting LLNL to peaceful humanitarian research along the lines of its sister lab, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The Mount Diablo Peace and Justice Center (http://www.mtdpc.org) has also long been a regular supporter of the annual actions protesting nuclear weapons research at LLNL.

Nuclear Maze

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
Nuclear maze sprawling along Patterson Pass Road in Livermore.

Moment of Silence

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
Moment of silence for 40,000+ people killed in Nagasaki at 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945.

Cara Bautista

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
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Cara Bautista moderating the rally.

Kaylah Marin

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
Kaylah Marin signing for peace and justice.

Nobuaki Hanaoka

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
Nobuaki Hanaoka speaking for the abolition of all nuclear weapons and pre-emptive wars.

Nobuaki Hanaoka

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
Nobuaki Hanaoka addressing the rally.

Nuclear Maze

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
Nuclear maze: people browsing exhibits.

Nuclear Maze

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
Nuclear maze: list of over 1000 U.S. nuclear tests.

Raging Grannies

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
Raging Grannies signing songs of peace and justice.

Antinuclear Participants

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
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Antinuclear participants at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Lone Counter-protester

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
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Lone counter-protester sitting in an army jeep displays ignorance of history.

So we never forget, story of atomic bomb must be told

So we never forget, story of atomic bomb must be told

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Bill Janes, Black Mountain • published August 15, 2008 12:15 am

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I wondered if there would be any mention of it in the Aug. 6 edition of the AC-T. Finally, I found it, almost hidden away in section D:

“On Aug. 6, 1945, during World War II, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, resulting in an estimated 140,000 deaths in the first use of a nuclear weapon in warfare.”

How easily and conveniently we forget. How glibly we justify. How arrogantly do we propose to others that they should cease their efforts toward nuclear armament while we refuse to take the lead in disarming ourselves.

How difficult and painful it is to face up to our culpability. Yet, how necessary, if there is to be any significant move toward justice and peace in our world.

Bill Janes, Black Mountain

Japan remembers Nagasaki atomic bomb victims

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan marked the 63rd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki with a solemn ceremony on Saturday and a call for world powers to abandon their nuclear weapons.

Thousands of children, elderly survivors and dignitaries in the city’s Peace Park bowed their heads in a minute of silence at 11:02 a.m. (10:02 p.m. EDT), the time the bomb was dropped, to remember the tens of thousands who ultimately died from the blast.

“The United States and Russia must take the lead in striving to abolish nuclear weapons,” Nagasaki mayor Tomihisa Taue said at the gathering, which included Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.

“These two countries … should begin implementing broad reductions of nuclear weapons instead of deepening their conflict over, among others, the introduction of a missile-defence system in Europe.”

Britain, France and China should also reduce their nuclear arms, he added.

About 27,000 of the southwestern city’s estimated 200,000 population died instantly from the bomb, and about 70,000 had died by the end of 1945.

Nagasaki was bombed by the United States on August 9, 1945, three days after the western city of Hiroshima, where the blast also killed tens of thousands immediately and many more later from radiation sickness.

On August 15, Japan surrendered, bringing World War Two to an end.

Fukuda said Japan had to fulfill its responsible role as a nation of peace

“I vow to lead the international community for permanent peace,” Fukuda said in a speech.

Nagasaki’s toll from the bomb, nicknamed “Fat Man”, is updated every year by the Japanese government which keeps a record of victims it says die of radiation illness. It added 3,058 names to the list this year, bringing the official death toll to 145,984.

Earlier in the week, the mayor of Hiroshima had criticized countries that refuse to abandon their bombs and vowed to do more to help survivors still suffering the city’s 1945 attack.

Japan has stood by its self-imposed “three non-nuclear principles” banning the possession, production and import of nuclear arms.

(Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Valerie Lee)

Japan marks anniversary of Hiroshima atomic bomb

TOKYO – Tens of thousands bowed their heads at a ceremony in the Japanese city of Hiroshima on Wednesday, the 63rd anniversary of the world’s first atomic attack, as the city’s mayor hit out at countries that refuse to abandon their bombs.

A bell tolled at 8:15 a.m. to mark the exact moment when the bomb dubbed ‘Little Boy’ was dropped on the city, killing tens of thousands immediately and many more later from radiation sickness.

‘We who seek the abolition of nuclear weapons are the majority,’ mayor Tadatoshi Akiba said in a speech at the Peace Memorial Park, attended by the ambassador of nuclear-armed China, as well as Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and elderly survivors of the attack.

‘Last year 170 countries voted in favour of Japan’s U.N. resolution calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Only three countries, the United States among them, opposed this resolution,’ he said.

The United States and other world powers fear Iran is developing nuclear weapons, while Tehran says its atomic programme is for power generation. Washington and others have warned of more sanctions against Tehran, which they accuse of playing for time in the dispute.

The mayor of Hiroshima also vowed to do more to help survivors still suffering the physical and mental after-effects of the 1945 attack by the United States in the final days of World War Two, which was followed a few days later by a nuclear attack on the southern Japanese city of Nagasaki.

The average age of survivors is over 75 and Akiba said he would launch a survey into the emotional damage they suffered.

Fukuda echoed some of Akiba’s sentiments, saying he wanted to take a lead in the campaign against nuclear weapons and try to help as many as possible of those dealing with poor health after being exposed to radiation.

‘We must not repeat such a sad event,’ one mother attending the ceremony told broadcaster NHK. ‘We need to pass that message on to our children’s generation.’

(Reporting by Isabel Reynolds; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Why Did We Drop the Bomb?

Why Did We Drop the Bomb?

In 1945 on August 5th at 8 seconds past 8:16AM the atomic bomb, “The Little Boy”, exploded over Hiroshima , Japan . Fifty-one seconds previously, the bomb was dropped by the B-29 Enola Gay at a height of almost six miles. The explosion occurred at a height of 1,850 feet and created a huge fireball, which possessed for a fraction of a second, the temperature of a million degrees. “The Little Boy” had released the equivalent of 13,500 tons of TNT over the city.

The point of explosion in the air is generally referred to as the epicenter; the point directly below it, on the ground, as the hypocenter. The intense heat of this explosion incinerated virtually everything within a radius of some five hundred yards of the hypocenter. Within a three-hundred-yard radius the heat waves traveled at a speed of around twelve hundred feet per second. Buildings as distant as two miles or more were set ablaze. A thick cloud of smoke mushroomed into the sky to a height of forty thousand feet. The shockwave that followed immediately after the explosion was felt well over a mile away from the hypocenter. Radioactivity within a half mile radius was so intense that almost everyone who managed to survive both the heat and the blast were doomed to eventual death from the effects of radiation. Death for the lucky ones was swift, but for many, the pain lingered for minutes or even days. Some, still a half century later, are suffering and dieing from the painful, cancer causing effects of radiation sickness (Pacific 237).

Even though pre-bomb population information of Hiroshima is not known for sure and the fires that ravaged the city destroyed bodies, most experts estimate the loss of life within that first year after the explosion to be around 140,000. Due to the nature of radiation and its cancer causing effects, over the last half century, that figure has increased to about 200,000 lives. These estimates do not include the deaths of three days later when the atomic bomb “Fat Man” was dropped on Nagasaki ending an estimated 70,000 more lives (Ohba).

The devastation caused by our dropping the bomb on Japan was horrendous. We should never have dropped an atomic bomb on Japan let alone two bombs. The A-bomb should never have been dropped on Japan because: Japan was already beaten, Japan was trying to surrender, and the A-bomb is inhumane.

Japan was already beaten

Approaching the summer of 1945, Japan, already without a navy to speak of and its air force in shambles, really could no longer defend itself. United States bombers could pretty much fly over its mainland carpet bombing any targets it wished with little loss of planes. The United States Strategic Bombing Survey issued this statement in July of 1946:

Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945 and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated. (qtd. in Nuclear)

Japan was in no condition to defend itself let alone make continued war upon its neighbors. Most experts agree that Japan , which was arming its citizens with bamboo spears, would not be able to withstand continued conventional bombing of its infrastructure. Why then did we need to drop the atomic bomb?

Japan was trying to surrender

During the later part of the war, Japan was looking to Russia , to help mediate a surrender agreement with the West. The political structure of Japan at the time of the war left most of the power with the military. Japan ‘s cabinet, through its Foreign Minister Togo , to its ambassador in Russia , clearly stated it wished to discuss surrender. Having broken the Japanese code, the United States was able to clearly see Japan ‘s wish to end the war. Some of the messages intercepted were:

July 18: “Negotiations…necessary…for soliciting Russia ‘s good offices in concluding the war and also in improving the basis for negotiations with England and America .”

July 22: “Special Envoy Konoye’s mission will be in obedience to the Imperial Will. He will request assistance in bringing about an end to the war through the good offices of the Soviet government.”

July 26: “The aim of the Japanese Government with regard to Prince Konoye’s mission is to enlist the good offices of the Soviet Government in order to end the war.” (qtd. Long)

Japan clearly wanted to end its war with the West. Its navy and air force were decimated and its citizens and soldiers were hungry. Japan could have inflicted heavy losses upon an invasion force, but the United States did not need to invade. The bombing and blockade campaigns were doing the work for the Allies. Japan was willing to surrender if its Emperor was left alone. The United States knew this, and Japan knew this, but the United States , when it issued its terms to Japan made no mention of the Emperor’s fate. Japan would not surrender without knowing its emperor’s fate. After the Atomic bomb was dropped, Japan did surrender, and the Emperor was left alone. Experts state that if the United States declaration for unconditional surrender had included a clause proclaiming the fate of the emperor, Japan would have surrendered before the use of the atomic bomb. Why then did we need to drop the atomic bomb?

The A-bomb is inhumane

The use of atomic weapons on cities full of non-combatants is a horrendous action. The United States forever showed to the rest of humanity its overwhelming drive to win at any price. Against international law, it not only bombed cities with conventional weapons (everyone else in the war forgot this provision as well), but also demolished two Japanese cities with the unparalleled power of an atomic weapon.

Death by an atomic weapon is a very messy and painful affair. If you are one of the lucky ones you are incinerated by the blast or killed from the debris of the shockwave instantly. Unlucky ones receive burns ranging from first degree (minor sunburn-like) to fifth degree (destroyed muscle and connective tissue), leaving them suffering in unbearable pain and leaving little resistance to infection. As if this were not enough, nuclear weapons have a secondary killer besides the blast and shockwave. Radiation is released in massive amounts, dancing unseen among the cellular structure of the body. This damage is quite severe, ranging from: nausea, diarrhea, hair loss, and infertility to hemorrhage of the mouth and kidney, destruction of bone marrow, neural disruption, and death. Even years later, survivors, who believed they beat the odds and survived, came down with differing cases of cancer, caused by overexposure to radiation. Killing someone with a gun or bomb is one thing, but making her suffer in pain for days, weeks or years is unfathomable.

Below is a first hand account of the devastation from Ms. Michiko Yamaoka:

When I was rescued, my hair was burned; my face was inflated like a balloon. Though my mother did not say, I knew it. I wondered why my shirt had been burnt and hanging around my arms, I soon realized they were pieces of my skin. It was hell. I saw people looking for water and they died soon after they drank it. I saw many people go to the river in search of water and who died. The whole city was destroyed and burning. (Ohba)

Death and destruction on this scale is unfathomable and irresponsible. Why would any country develop and use such a means to end a war it had pretty much won already? President Truman even believed our country would not abide the genocide of cities, when he spoke to the nation during a radio speech on August 9, 1945 , about the Hiroshima bombing:

The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima , a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians. But that attack is only a warning of things to come. If Japan does not surrender, bombs will have to be dropped on her war industries and, unfortunately, thousands of civilian lives will be lost. I urge Japanese civilians to leave industrial cities immediately, and save themselves from destruction. (National)

Saying this, he knew we had just bombed a heavily populated city, Hiroshima , and had just also bombed Nagasaki , another heavily populated city. Why give warning when you have already dropped two atomic bombs on as many cities? Was Truman just speaking to the American citizens and not giving a warning to the Japanese? Why then did we drop the atomic bomb?

In conclusion, the use of atomic weapons on Japan inflicted a terrible loss of life without need. Brigadier General Carter Clarke, military intelligence officer in charge of preparing intercepted Japanese cables, said it best, “…when we didn’t need to do it, and we knew we didn’t need to do it, we used them as an experiment for two atomic bombs.” (qtd. Long). The United States did use Hiroshima and Nagasaki as experiments to see the effects of a nuclear blast upon a city, and to send the Russian’s a message that the United States had, and would use, nuclear weapons to serve its interests.

In the late twentieth century and creeping into the twenty-first, the United States of America condemns other countries for the slaying of innocent civilians. The United States tells Israel to pull out of the West Bank because of the loss of some civilian lives in their campaign against terror. Why should they? One look at our history shows that when pushed we have, and will use, nuclear weapons. We even used them on a country already beaten by our superior military might. I hope that fifty years without military use of nuclear weapons is a trend, and that they will not be used ever again. Of course, in 1945, the United States had only a few bombs. Today, in countries around the world, the stockpile of nuclear mass destruction totals some 39,000 warheads (Natural). Hopefully, what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki will never happen again.

Works Cited

Long, Doug. Hiroshima : Was it Necessary. Jan. 28 2000

< http://www.doug-long.com/&gt;

Ohba, Mitsuru, John Benson. A-Bomb WWW Museum . 2 July 2000

<http:// http://www.csi.ad.jp/ABOMB/>;

Pacific War Research Society, The Day Man Lost

Tokyo : Kodansha International Ltd. 1972

National Archives and Records Administration. Truman Presidential Museum & Library.

Apr. 11 2002 http://www.trumanlibrary.org

Natural Resources Defense Council. NRDC. Apr. 17 2002

< http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/default.asp&gt;

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Extract from U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey Summary Report.

Apr. 17 2002 <http://www.nuclearfiles.org/docs/1945/45-bomb-survey-x.html >

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